Metal History Through Fanzines

Dark Angel (US)

Agonia #3 (Poland) 2001

Agonia #3 (Poland) 2001. Editor: “Filip Jesion”

Polish zine of epic proportions (later to be built into the record label of the same name). Some blurry scans in there, sorry, but for the most part, a nice look at the underground in its post-millennium form. Interviews and more with Abhorrence (Brazil), Antaeus, Arkhon Infaust, Astriaal, Averse Sefira, Bestial Mockery,  Bloodthorn, Dreams of Damnation, Death SS, Deceased, Denial of God, Krieg, Grand Belial’s Key, Manilla Road, Melechesh, Necrophagia, Nunslaughter, Open Hell festival, Pentacle, Sathanas, Slugathor, Teutonic, Thanatos, The Forgotten, Throneum, Usurper, and more…Thanks Pawel.

 


Battlefield #5 (GER) 1985 (auf Deutsch)

Battlefield #5 (GER) 1985. Editor: “Markus Zimmerman” (auf Deutsch)

Another mid-80s classic from D-land, with interviews, live reviews, and features on Agent Steel, Tankard, At War, Cryptic Slaughter, Death, Sons of Satan, Desaster Area, Exodus, Helloween, Destruction, Hallows Eve, Jag Panzer, Metallica, Hirax, Dark Angel, Kreator, Messiah, Samhain (GER), Possessed, Slaughter (CAN), Angel Dust, Savage Grace, Sodom, Slayer, Venom, Exodus, Atomkraft, Violent Force and more…thanks to Battlefild-Magazine.de. PDF up in DL section.

 


Brain Damage #1 (USA – CA) 1984

Brain Damage #1 (USA – CA) 1984. Editors: Vadim Rubin” and “Ron Nieto”

Out of Long Beach, CA with help from Gene Hoglan (Dark Angel) and others, this zine features some rare photos, insights and  playlists from the very pivotal year of 1984. Interesting also Slayer is called “black metal”- just shows you how interchangeable all the terms were at the time (before certain sub-genres separated themselves)…check out the reviews as well for Mantas’ demo, among others…[Thanks to the original scanner, this was forwarded to me by a supporter of the archive]. Features and interviews with Hirax, Destruction, Dark Angel, Death Angel, Celtic Frost, Jag Panzer, Mercyful Fate, Omen, Overkill, Possessed and Voivod.


Disposable Underground #3 (VA, USA) 1991

Disposable Underground #3 (VA, USA) 1991, Editor: “Richard Johnson”

Issue #2 of DI, out of the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Again, Rich was in early grind outfit Enemy Soil, prior to going on to playing in the likes of Agoraphobic Nosebleed and now Drugs of Faith.  This long running zine can now be found online in downloadable format here, both new and old issues.

This issue has live reviews, adverts, reviews, opinions (one from Deceased guitarist Mike Smith) features and interviews with/on the Foundations Forum, Riki Rachtman, Slayer Zine, Cannibal Corpse, Atheist, Autopsy, Bolt Thrower, Coroner, Death, Dark Angel, Grave, Gorguts, Hexx, Fates Warning, Impetigo, Believer, Overkill, Queensryche, Pestilence, Relapse Records, Suffocation, Sacrifice, Unleashed, Century Media and much more…

 


Metal Forces #21 (UK) 1986

Metal Forces #21 (UK) 1986. Editor: “Bernard Doe”

[Once more, it’s a given that Metal Forces was certainly not a fanzine, yet it still deserves archival status. As previously stated, the importance of the magazine for the development of the global underground and all ’extreme’ genres can not be understated – they covered many notable bands before any other press did, and were a reliable go-to source for news in the pre-internet era.]

Here I have issue #21, all 47 pages- it’s a good mix of speed and thrash (heavily on the rise at the time), along with the token glam rock sprinkled throughout (posers!!!??)…I wonder why they even bothered with the glam rock then, because if you check out the “Readers Album Chart”- its all thrash and speed?! Lots of cool reviews though with the essential “Demolition” demo review section (Nuclear Death!), pen-pal and fanzine addresses etc. One thing I question however is the “78” review for Fates Warning’s Awaken the Guardian …come on!? And Zebra gets a 91? Anyways, reader mail, plus killer live reviews of Deathrow (plus intie), Overkill, Whiplash, Metallica, Voivod, Possessed and more, as well as features on Anthrax, English Dogs, Attacker, Crumbsuckers, Dark Angel, Helstar, Steeler, Voivod (again) etc.


Gray Matter #2 (TX, USA) August 1987

Gray Matter #2 (TX, USA) August 1987. Editor: “Chris Orloski”

Out of Texas, packed with reviews (especially demo reviews), a long interview with Gene Hoglan from Dark Angel and Jason Newsted after he joined Metallica, news, a feature on Ron Jarzombek, a Watchtower/Agony Column live review, interviews w/ Lethal Aggression, Hades, Liege Lord, Drifter, Devastation, Baron Steele, and more.


Brain Damage Zine #2 (California, USA) 1985

Brain Damage Zine #2 (California, USA) 1985. Editors: “Vadim Rubin, Mike Rubenstein, and Ron Nieto”

The second issue from this classic zine out of Long Beach. My fav. part of this one is the ‘no posers’ Celtic Frost Drummer ad. Features and interviews from Bathory, Celtic Frost, C.O.C., Dark Angel, Death, Destruction, Possessed, Sodom, etc. Cheers again to Adrian at Pest Webzine for sending over the scans.

 


Brain Damage Zine #1 (California, USA) 1984

Brain Damage Zine #1 (California, USA) 1984. Editors: “Vadim Rubin and Ron Nieto”

Here is classic from Long Beach – straight from the dawn of the underground. Thanks to Adrian at Pest Webzine for sending these scans over and helping me get a post up despite me being away from home for another 10 days. This issue has write-ups on Slayer, Mercyful Fate, Overkill, Omen, Destruction, Hirax (interview), Death Angel, Celtic Frost, etc.

 


Out of the Underground #1 (NJ, USA) 1989

Out of the Underground #1 (NJ, USA) 1989, Editors: “Anne Hernandez” and “Debbie Sellnow”

This is the first issue from New Jersey’s OOTU. Notable for not one, but two female editors, they put together this cool photocopied and stapled zine (I think) when they were still in high school, and it features interviews with Voivod, Henry Rollins, Dark Angel, Vio-lence, Blood feast, and Hades, along with a handful of reviews.

 


The Book of Armageddon #1 (NY, USA) 1986

The Book of Armageddon #1 (NY, USA) 1986, Editor: “Ed Farshtey”

A few weeks back, I put up BOA #4 with commentary from Ed Farshtey. This week, I have a super-rare copy of BOA #1 from 1986, and it features VERY early and cool (yet brief) interviews with DEATH (Evil Chuck when he was out in California – and hey I forgot he jammed with DRI drummer Eric Brecht then) , POSSESSED (Lalonde), CELTIC FROST (Warrior), DARK ANGEL (Hoglan-right before signing to Combat Records), a long interview with Quorthon from BATHORY (On recording “THE RETURN:” I was drunk every second during the recording…we had a great time“, live reviews, and several cool ads for DEATH‘s Mutilation demo, and a back cover ad for pre-CARCASS band “DISATTACK“.

 


The Book of Armageddon #4 (NY, USA) 1989

The Book of Armageddon #4 (NY, USA) 1989, Editor: “Ed Farshtey”

This week I have the fourth and final issue of Ed Farshtey’s “Book of Armageddon.” Ed was entrenched in the New York metal scene throughout the 80s to the 90s, from ‘heavy’ metal, to thrash, to death, and even ended up working at Roadrunner when they were signing all the classic death metal acts around 1990. This issue features Armoros  (who had a pre-Strapping Young Lad Jed Simon), as well as a lengthy interview with Dark Angel right as “Leave Scars” dropped. Speaking of Dark Angel, there is a review of the classic “Ultimate Revenge 2” show in Philadelphia…poor Raven!!!(among numerous other great live reviews). Also,  interviews with Gargoyle, pre-“Beneath the Remains” Sepultura (where they discuss their 7-album (!) deal with Roadrunner), Voivod!, and the underrated Prime Evil.

I had a chance to catch up with Ed this week, so here is a bit from him, in his own words…also check out the interview with him from Metalcore zine here.

“I started the Book of Armageddon in 1985 with my friend Mark Sokoll. Back then we just began contacting different bands we were into, like Death, Celtic Frost, Bathory and Dark Angel, just for the hell of it. Then, when a bunch of them actually got back to us, we decided to put out the zine. The Book of Armageddon was available around the city, in places like It’s Only Rock and Roll, Bleecker Bob’s, Venus Records, Butterfly, Slipped Disc on Long Island, Generation Records, etc, and I would also send them out of state, to places like Ace’s Records in Tampa and Wild Rags in LA.

I would sell them at shows, like back in the day at L’Amours in Brooklyn. We would show up there at like twelve in the afternoon, hang out all day and meet the bands. We would bring copies of the zine, and hope to sell them fast, because if we had to hold on to them all night they would end up getting ripped up. Nearly all the metal shows at the time would go through L’Amours, but there were a few other places like Studio 54, The Ritz, and Irving Plaza, and even CBGB’s would sometimes do a metal show. But at L’Amours it seemed every week there was a big metal show coming through.

By early 1990, I stopped doing the zine when I began working at Roadrunner Records. That was the best time to work at the label. I knew half of the bands that were getting signed then, like Malevolent Creation, Suffocation, Immolation, Sorrow and Gorguts. Those were excellent times, meeting bands like Pestilence and Sepultura, and getting to work with them too! ” – Ed Farshtey


METAL MELTDOWN ZINE (Maryland, USA) Apr/May 1989

Metal Meltdown Apr/May 1989. Vol 3, No. 1. (Maryland, USA), Editor: Jeff “Kluke” VanderClute.

Another issue from “the infernal wastelands” of Maryland -the best local mag we had in my opinion, one that introduced me to heaps of new music at the time. Typed, bound and (pro?) printed, this 1989 issue features a humorous, extensive interview with Wehrmacht, as well Metal Church (post-Wayne), Max from Sepultura (in unedited, Portuguese-accented glory-pre-Beneath the Remains), Dark Angel (with Gene Hoglan from Oct. 1988), Helstar, and none other than Ian Christe contributing a long, informative interview with Steve Martin from Agnostic Front.

 


Deathcheese Zine #1 (USA) 1991

Deathcheese Zine #1 (USA) 1991. Editor: Brian Hellfarmer

This was a stapled, photocopied zine out of Oxnard, California, that also had Richard Johnson (Enemy Soil, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Drugs of Faith) as a writer/interviewer, and as such features not just my DC-area hometown band Abominog, but also some interviews culled from shows I attended back then, like the incredible ‘some tours were meant to stay underground’ tour in Nov and Dec 1990 (WASH, DC was DEC 7th, 1990) that featured Sepultura, Obituary, and Sadus. The interviews here with Sepultura and Sadus are from that tour and feature some timeless commentary. Also we have 2 separate interviews with Morbid Angel just before the release of “Blessed are the Sick.” Additionally there is a cool interview with James Murphy when he was in Obituary. A very text-heavy zine, but that is where the gold lies with this one!